Octpowrimo: day 11 and a link...

This morning a friend drove me to work.

He was tired.

He asked, “How do you do it? I just can’t keep pushing through.”

I haven’t been not tired in twenty years.

“Y’know what helps? Choice… having no choice helps a lot.”


There is no extra.

I have enough to keep going.

No more.


7:15 AM,

My office at work:

I eat a handful of raisins and walnuts.

I ate yesterday too.


I lock the office door, set the alarm on my phone, roll out the yoga mat I keep in the corner.

41 minutes from now, I will emerge from my refuge and step into the morning.

For now, I lie on my stomach and wait for the nausea to pass.


I’m not grateful for survival.

I’m grateful for no choice.

I’m grateful for enough to keep going.

I wouldn’t know how to tolerate full stop.




42 comments on “Chronicity

  1. Brilliant. I feel like cheering. I am on daily chemotherapy and have been for three years. People tell me I am so courageous but what alternative is there when you have no choice. Love each day and keep on keeping on.i love your poem.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. LauraALord says:

    It’s amazing what strength can be found in the lack of a choice, isn’t it? This was a fantastic, heartbreaking, but brutally honest read. I’m just going to sit back over here in awe of you for awhile. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. valj2750 says:

    Do you ever feel like slapping whiners like me? This is so powerful.


  4. Linda Kay says:

    I’m with you Zoe…full speed ahead. People keep asking me “how do you do it?” and I’m not aware that I’m doing anything out of the ordinary.


  5. Oh yes Zoe, sometimes having no choice helps a lot! Powerful indeed!


  6. Fida says:

    Choice and no choice. I like the last for lines. Thank you.


  7. I love this so much! It’s so true, having no choice really makes all the difference. It keeps you motivated too. So good!


  8. Sarah says:

    The honesty here is deeply moving. Thank you.


  9. It’s amazing how most of us go through the same experiences. Have been there done that sounds like a bond among us. Brilliant write Zoe 🙂


  10. Rod E. Kok says:

    My wife and I live this, and have for over 5 years. When cancer invaded her, and all the choices we made led to treatments, surgeries, recoveries…her line was that she had no choice. She just did it. The strongest woman I know taught me that lesson. Thank you for sharing this most beautiful poem!


  11. lrconsiderer says:

    Last time I said something nice about something like this, you poked your tongue out and said rude things loudly in my ear. And spat a little (as I recall).

    So I won’t.

    But I did march x


  12. oldegg says:

    Long may you have no choice but to soldier on.


  13. This is one of the most powerfully honest pieces you have written. You keep going because it is a necessity, not a matter of choice. I have spoken with people about that same reality before. We can crawl into the corner or under the table and remain there until we turn to dust, or we can get up and keep going, and as far as I’m concerned, we must do that, there is no choice. I respect you greatly for doing it, for not giving in or giving up. Thank you for sharing with us on this special Two Shoes Tuesday!


  14. Tamara Woods says:

    Zoe, I loved this. How do I contact you outside of this blog? Facebook? Email? Probably not a pigeon. It wouldn’t make it that far.


  15. Lisa @ The Meaning of Me says:

    Hmm…yes, amazing what one can do when there is no choice involved. I definitely see where you came from on this one, but I also read this through the lens of having to stay on somewhere I didn’t want to be. Not a story for here – offline, perhaps.


  16. Jim says:

    I like your “choice” story, Zoe. For a bit I wasn’t sure that was the word so I checked the list. Sure enough. Good job.
    BTW, I’m retired now, but when I wasn’t I always took an early 8:30 class to get me going. I am a night person, mornings are the pits.



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